Trojans respond to Hartman's challenge; win, 8-7
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Going into the bottom of the third inning of Monday's Section 1 A finale with section champion Carmichaels, California baseball coach Don Hartman was not a happy camper.
He watched as his defense botched a routine pop fly out beyond shortstop with two outs that Carmichaels turned into four runs and a 5-0 lead.
When the Trojans came off the field, Hartman lit into them with a tongue-lashing about fundamentals and doing what they are supposed to do.
Then he challenged them.
And the Trojans responded.
The hosts scored four runs in the bottom of the third and eventually came away with an 8-7 win.
The game didn't mean a lot in the section race, but don't tell Hartman that the game was meaningless to the second-place Trojans (14-4, 8-2).
“We built this program on hard work, determination and pride in what we do, how we play the game,” he said. “And I was upset after we missed that routine play that cost us four runs. I challenged my team and they buckled down and did the job. They played the way California baseball is supposed to be played.”
In the bottom of the third, Michael Luketich hit a bases-loaded two-run single that turned into a three runs when the Mikes committed an error on the play.
Aaron Previsky then slapped a single that made it 5-4.
Cal scored three times in the fifth as Jake Columbus tied the game with a perfectly executed suicide squeeze bunt, Previsky hit another RBI single and Louden Conte stroked a single on a 3-2 pitch to drive in the third run to make it 7-5.
Cal made it 8-5 in the sixth on a double by Josh Luko and a single by Luketich, his third hit of the day.
The Trojans needed that extra run as the Mikes (12-3, 9-1) scored twice in the seventh and had the tying run on second when winning pitcher Brian Fisher recorded the last out.
“This is the kind of baseball we need to play if we want to do well in the playoffs,” said Hartman. “I'm pretty proud of my kids. They fought back and would not be denied. That's what you have to do to be successful. I'm hoping they learned something today.”
Joining Luketich with three hits for California was Luko while Previsky had two hits.
The Mikes got two singles and a double from Mike Blasinsky.
California travels to Thomas Jefferson for a non-section game Wednesday.
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Knoch wins 1st WPIAL title by beating defending champ West Allegheny
- Central Catholic knocks off Norwin to win 1st WPIAL baseball title
- Knoch senior ejected from WPIAL title game for wild slide
- Gorman: Central’s DeRenzo catches a shutout
- High school roundup: Montour edges CV in 9th to earn PIAA berth
- Juniata Valley holds off Blairsville for District 6 baseball title
- Seton-La Salle baseball’s outlook good for next season
- Norwin baseball looking for respect during playoff run
- Gorman: Neshannock’s hero at the hot corner
- Mustangs point to several positives from 2015 season